Maia Hirasawa's music video for "And I Found This Boy" first caught my attention a few months ago. Not your everyday music video, it definitely jumps out at the viewer. (Watch it below). Since then, Hirasawa has been keeping busy putting the finishing touches on her debut album, due out this spring. She'll be performing for the first time in the U.S. tonight at the infamous Hotel Café in Los Angeles. So, be sure to listen to her MySpace and if you're in the California area stop by for her show!
The Swedish-Japanese singer's debut, Though, I'm Just Me, is an eclectic mix of lively songs and ballads. In fact, she's already been compared to Regina Spektor and Lykke Li, even Bust suggested her similarity to Feist and a "less-angsty Bjork." While some tracks sound incredibly theatrical, others tell moving stories of seemingly real-life relationships. Having written and played almost every instrument on the 14-song disc, Hirasawa takes the listener on a journey on her debut release.
Beginning with beautifully light vocals accented by soft guitar picking on "Still June," Hirasawa's voice sounds familiar at first listen. The familiarity soon changes at the start of next track, "Crackers," which has that Big Band feel with horn introduction and further musical accompaniment.
"Parking Lot" is a slower ballad showcasing Hirasawa's soft, yet at times, wavering voice while "Star Again" features male backing vocals from fellow singer Anders Goransson, who sounds slightly reminiscent to Bono.
Stand-out track is “And I Found This Boy.” With fast-paced horn and piano interludes, this song will undeniably become stuck in one's head all day long. Hirasawa's fluctuating vocals throughout the track keep the listener intrigued and the upbeat musical accompaniment only adds to it's catchiness.
"You and Me and Everyone We Know" differentiates itself from the album with a children's choir accompanying Hirasawa during the introduction of the song which then quickly segues into a string feature. Another emotional track is "Roselin," a sad story of a girl who can't bear to be alone. Hirasawa sings, "She's been abandoned by her family/Didn't know that life could be that hard/But she never complains."
For anyone looking for a new musician to add to his collection, Maia Hirasawa is one artist that deserves a listen. Not your typical album material, Hirasawa switches gears tastefully and has much to offer on her debut disc, Though, I'm Just Me.
Watch Maia Hirasawa's video for "And I Found This Boy" below. If you like what you hear, don't forget to check her out in concert tonight at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles.